Karen entered this world as a shining light in a large Scandinavian family. She was the light of her parents’ eyes, as well to her big brother Harv Paulsen. Karen was born in Arcata and lived out her youth in Crannell and Dows Prairie amid abundant family and friends. She responded with great pleasure to the nickname “Sugarfoot,” given to her by family friends in the early Crannell days. Karen graduated 8th grade from the old Dows Prairie School, which was located where the Dows Prairie Grange now sits. She then graduated from Arcata High School in 1954 with honors, and attended Humboldt State College.

In 1955 while attending Humboldt State, Karen met Mike Stone and they married the following year. The first three of five children quickly arrived and the growing family followed Mike’s advertising career across the country. As three children grew to five, Karen made houses into homes for her young brood in Ohio, North Carolina, New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1973 Karen and the children moved back to Humboldt County and the security of Dows Prairie and Karen’s loving parents, Halver and Elvera Paulsen. Karen passed away on September 25, 2017 at her childhood home on Woody Road.

While raising five children Karen had several jobs, including managing Walnut Bowl in Walnut Creek, California, and working for Anderson/Robinson Insurance in Arcata. She owned and operated B&K Master Pro Shop with friend Bret Matthews in Walnut Creek, and owned and operated McKinleyville Cab Co. for several years. Karen was a founding member of Straight Arrow, as well as a past president of McKinleyville Chamber of Commerce. She also wrote a weekly column about McKinleyville in the old Arcata Union paper for several years.

Karen was always willing to help those less fortunate than she, and many family stories were born of those she “took in.” Her greatest joy in life came from her family, especially her children and her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Karen was a fantastic cook and many happy memories were made in Karen’s kitchens across the country and in the kitchen of the Dows Prairie home. She was “another Mother” to many a teenager as her own children grew, and remained a “good ear” to many as they navigated adulthood. Forever in her children’s minds and hearts are some of the words she engrained in them “You take on one Stone kid, You take on all five” and “The harder it gets, the more you laugh” will remain words to live by. And yes, “Twinkle, children, twinkle,” which we indeed will.

In 2016 Karen celebrated her 80th birthday with family and friends. It was a wonderful day for her and she was thrilled to see so many that she loved so very much. She so enjoyed the visits from family and friends over the past few years.

Karen was predeceased by her parents, Halver and Elvera Paulsen, her big brother Harv Paulsen, and many other loving family and friends. Karen is survived by her five children, Sharon Stone-Stover (Jeff) of Chico, Terrice Bundy (Joe) of Redding, Michael Stone (Tammy) of Dows Prairie, Dennice Stone of Dows Prairie, and Chris Stone (Susie) of Dows Prairie; her 10 grandchildren and their families — Trinity Hillard, Bill Bundy, Joshua Tompkins, Nick Bundy, Ken Stone, Kyle Stone, Bryan Stone, Breanna Stone, James Stover, Stef Fay; 17 great-grandchildren — Tucker, Ava, Kate, Lauren, Daia, D’Mitri, Dade, Madelyn, Macy, Cameron, Sawyer, Charlie, Jaxon, Aspen, Kevin, Noah, Perry. Karen also leaves her sister-in-law Barbara Paulsen, her nieces Daria and Jan, as well as her goddaughter Pam Gosselin and many other cousins, great-nieces and nephews.

Karen’s children would like to thank her caregivers Nancy, Nicole and Susan for their loving care the past few years. We also give special thanks to our family and friends who have been so loving and understanding over these past years. The patience and love shown has meant so very much to Mom and each of us. According to Mom’s wishes, no service will be held. We will be having a Celebration of Life at a later date, because we never could all mind very well anyway. Contributions may be made to the Humboldt Historical Society or Humboldt County Hospice.


The obituary above was submitted by Karen Stone’s family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.